This may be the most boring picture of all time, yet it represents an excitement I have not felt in many years. I am in a dorm room at the University of Alabama Huntsville, and tomorrow I will join teachers from across the nation and around the world for a week at Space Camp. I am going to learn something that is truly novel for me. I am always excited to learn something further about Latin or the ancient world, but that is a different sort of learning. That kind of learning is to go deeper into a field about which I already know something. Tomorrow I will begin learning something completely new. I know nothing about space science, but I am going to learn, and I am more excited than I can say.
The humble quarters in which I am lodging speak to this. This tiny room serves but one purpose, to provide a place to sleep and perhaps to do a bit of work while I am learning. It is not meant to be my home, and my unpacked suitcase atop the wardrobe reminds me of that. This is a place where I can come for a brief time as I join eager educators in the process of learning.
This simple room's purpose reminds me of my purpose, to learn something brand new. When was the last time you learned something about which you truly knew nothing? And armed with the tools of learning that I have developed and honed over many years, tools I have shared with countless students, I stand ready and as eager as a child the night before his birthday, for I am a student again. I have the privilege of "going back to school," but this time with a hungry, even voracious expectation that youth's lack of experience could never have allowed me to feel in my school days.
I look at this simple, Spartan room one last time before shutting off the lights, filled with the sure knowledge that there is nowhere I would rather be.